I can’t imagine starting a day without my morning walk through the woods. I never miss a day… rain or shine, gently snowing or a howling blizzard, 60 or -15 degrees. The woods in the early morning is, most often, soothingly quiet and bathed in rays of golden sunshine—a perfect setting for an incorrigible night person to adapt to morning, clear his head and ruminate on life. And when moving slowly and silently through the woods, you are nearly at one with the wildlife. One morning, I paused to look around and there, not 20 feet away, were three absolutely majestic bull elk. The four of us exchanged glances and went on our way. And just yesterday I fortunately paused again to look around and there, about 100 feet away, was the biggest bear I have ever seen. As before, the two of us studied each other and went about our business (in opposite directions!).

Although I know that every season has its dedicated champions, I can’t imagine anyone not choosing spring as their favorite. And this comes from a now-retired obsessed skier who used to say that the other three seasons were simply time wasted waiting for winter. Spring is really when the new year begins. 

Spring is so full of joy! Winter is finally done with us. The days are long and warm. The grass is green. The aspen leaves are beginning to bud. And the once covered and nearly dry streams are splashing back to life. Of all the inanimate objects, streams, to me, display the most life. I could sit by the creek on our property and meditate for hours. I see such exuberance as silvery slivers of water jump and splash over each cascade. Then, gracefulness as the water spins and turns around every bend. And finally, relaxation as the water pauses in a pond as if to rest before the next fall. 

I can’t imagine living anywhere but the Rocky Mountains. Holly and I often vacation at the beach for the change in scenery. Once, we actually dipped our toes in the Atlantic and then the Pacific in a week’s time. However, after a few days, I have had enough and start looking forward to getting back to our Rocky Mountain home. I totally understand the love affair that others have with the ocean… the adventure of the open sea, the smell of the salt water, the ocean breeze in your face and the ebb and flow of the tides. I am happy for them, but it is not enough for me. I have been to sea for weeks at a time and found that every place looks like every other place.   

In the mountains, every place is different from every other place. Spend enough time above timberline and you start to yearn for the forest. Spend enough time in the forest and the openness of a meadow will beckon. Spend enough time sitting by a lake and you will once again be drawn to climb the peaks above timberline. And as every mountain season draws to a close, there is a new beginning.

I just can’t imagine….